From Our Principal

Dear Parents and Whanau of Tangaroa College

We are all waiting to hear from the Prime Minister on Tuesday afternoon to see if we change alert levels. This lockdown has not been easy and it comes at a crucial time for our seniors. With NCEA exams around the corner it adds extra stress to our children and teachers. As a school, we are working to help students achieve their NCEA under these trying circumstances.  


We are concerned about the well being of our Tangaroa College community and the added pressures this lockdown has had on us all. We want to work with our community to make sure that everyone is OK. It is important that parents and students stay in contact with the school, either with their Dean, Wa akoranga teacher, and or subject teachers. 


Last week, some devices were delivered to the school by the Ministry of Education and families contacted to collect them from school, however, we still have some devices that have not been picked up and so school will be making contact with these families again to get these devices delivered. 


We have noticed a considerable drop in student engagement in on-line classes over the past week and while we understand that this is sometimes difficult, it is important that students participate, if they can’t, they must inform their teachers. If Parents want to know that their children are engaging online and wish to talk to their teachers, please do so. All staff contact details are on our website and below are the Deans and the Deputy Principals’ emails, or alternatively you can still phone the school and they will forward your message on. 


Be safe and take care of yourselves.


Davida Suasua


Contact emails: PHONE: 2745764

Year 9 Dean: Marieke Brinkman               email:
Associate Principal: Christine Pili      email:

Year 10 Dean: Rob Downing              email:
Deputy Principal: Bessie Tuialii   email:

Year 11 Dean: Abigail So’e                          email:
Deputy Principal: Imeteta Faumuina             email:    

Year 12 Dean: Chris Ashforth              email:
Deputy Principal: Martin Wright      email:

Year 13 Dean: Renee Tawhi                          email:
Deputy Principal: Grant Langdon                  email:


Remaining at Alert Level 4

Kia ora koutou,

I think we had all anticipated a further extension of Alert Level 4, and the Prime Minister has confirmed this. The Alert Level will be reviewed on Friday afternoon, but for now Alert Level 4 will remain in place until 12:59pm Friday 27 August.

Despite this news, it is really pleasing to see Alert Level 4 is having its impact on the number of confirmed cases, with numbers not dramatically increasing as they would likely have done if we had been at a lower Alert Level.

And so our distance learning programme will continue.

Please note. it is only in very limited circumstances that students, parents or caregivers are allowed to come to the school grounds. So please do not come to school unless you have been individually contacted by us to do so. Otherwise, you will be in breach of the COVID-19 Health Response Order.

You may be wondering how, with so many contacts being identified of confirmed cases, we aren’t seeing bigger case numbers identified. Just like the Delta variant is different, so has been New Zealand’s response. Previously we might have moved to Alert Level 2 or 3 if there was a new COVID-19 case in the community (which happened most recently in Wellington). This time we moved immediately to Alert Level 4, after only one case had been identified.

Health authorities are also casting a MUCH wider net to determine who is a contact of a confirmed case. People who previously might have been considered a casual contact are now being treated as contacts. Where schools may have closed for three days while contact tracing was undertaken, they are now closing for 14 days with staff and students all self-isolating for that time. As a result, there are more than 13,000 close contacts being followed up by health authorities.

There is a lot we can all do to protect our whānau and community from COVID-19 including:

  • Everyone must continue to stay home in their bubble
  • Do not mix with other household bubbles – if they have COVID-19, it can easily spread to your household, and every other household they and you are connecting with
  • As new cases are identified, new locations of interest are added to the Ministry of Health website – please keep checking this. You can search by your location and they are sorted by date, so you only need to check the locations which have been added when you last checked
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially when you have been out in public
  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell and seek advice about whether you need to get a test
  • Wear a face covering when out and about, and you MUST wear a face covering in any businesses or services which are open at Alert Level 4 (unless you have specifically been exempted from doing so, which includes anyone aged under 12)
  • Keep a two-metre distance from people outside your household bubble

Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go or keep a manual record (a reminder the App only stores information on your own phone – no one else will know who it is that checked in, or when)

You can go to the website if you would like more information on Alert Level 4 requirements.

We can also make sure we are passing on good information. There is a very helpful article by Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris in The Spinoff regarding misinformation and disinformation.


Their red flags for how to spot bad information are particularly well-summarised. Bad information will:

  • downplay COVID-19 and the pandemic
  • focus on survival rate
  • ignore long COVID
  • emphasis individual freedom
  • try to sell you something
  • push simple cures/treatments
  • make you feel fearful or angry.

“Good information put out to help you make an informed choice won’t make you feel scared or angry. It’ll make you feel empowered.”

Finally, we know some families in our community may be finding it difficult to access food and essential items such as medicine.  This information about how to access to food or essential items summarises the supports that are available, including financial help to buy food.


Please do take care and let us know how we can best support you and your whānau.


Kia kaha!


Sending out some aroha from TC

21 August 2021

Kia ora koutou whanau

Like me you probably looked at the emerging cases from this outbreak and thought that some further time at Alert Level 4 was the best thing for our community, particularly that there has been a confirmed case of students who attend McAuley High School and De la Salle. As we all know these families are a part of our community as well. If you know you have had contact please follow the guidelines. Isolate for 14 days get tested if you have any cold and flu symptoms. For further information please visit

We extend our support and Aroha to these families. 

I wanted to reassure you that our school staff and board will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing in the coming days.

We have distributed over 200 devices already plus learning packs. Some of the devices are new and need to be logged into the school Wi-Fi before they will access your home Wi -Fi. What this means is that students need to come to the school gates login to the school Wi-Fi and they are good to go. We have had many devices being returned yesterday because they have been broken or power cords lost, please parents, make sure your child looks after the device that they are given, it takes a device away from someone else, and they are on loan.

Students will continue to follow their normal timetable. Parents if you have any questions regarding your child’s learning, please do not hesitate to contact their year level deans

Year 9: Marieke Brinkman  email:
Year 10: Rob Downing        email:
Year 11: Abigail So’e          email:
Year 12: Chris Ashford       email:
Year 13: Renee Tawhi        email:

Or alternatively you can still call the school during the following hours of 9am – 2pm our office ladies will answer your calls. We will also be posting messages and information regularly on our school website:

If you have changed address and or contact details it is important you let us know.

We also hope you are doing OK at the moment – but it is also OK if you aren’t.

As the Mental Health Foundation of NZ says, “it’s all right to feel a range of emotions right now. Going into a Level 4 lockdown is a big deal and it brings all sorts of different feelings to the surface, including frustration, worry and even gratitude. However, what you are feeling, know that you’re not alone – we’re all going through this “together.”

If you need to talk, check in with a friend or whānau member, or free call/text 1737 to chat with a trained counsellor. It’s free and confidential. If you or anyone you know wants some advice or support over this time here are some further options that might be useful.

Support services that remain open:

  •       Counselling Free Call or Text 1737
  •       Healthline for COVID-19 health advice: 0800 358 5453
  •       Youth line 0800 376 633 or free text 234
  •       Samaritans 0800 726 666
  •       Depression Helpline 0800 111 757
  •       Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865


👉Auckland Council Aucklanders unable to afford groceries or in self–isolation with no access to other support networks can call 0800 22 22 96 between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. Callers must meet government criteria for assistance.
👉Salvation Army Text your name and postcode to 4114 and a rep. will contact you within 48 hours.
👉Presbyterian Support Northern – 09 309 2054 Collections between 11am – 12pm, Monday to Friday from 8 Madeira Lane, Grafton.  No walk-ins.
👉Foodbank NZ: 022 045 8184
👉Auckland City Mission: 09 303 9200 Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 3.00pm

You will also understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring and promote health and physical wellbeing. The Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ has been working to ensure useful information is available to Pacific peoples in nine different languages.

A big thank you to all of you for taking the lockdown so seriously – we’ve seen before that staying at home will break the chain of transmission and save lives. Breaking the rules could risk someone close to you and if the rules are not complied with, this could risk the lock down period being extended or could risk the virus being spread to thousands.

Please keep checking the locations of interest and get tested if you were at that location at the specified time, or if you have symptoms which could be COVID-19.  

As always, please let us know if there is anything you need to support you and your tamariki during this time. We will learn more on Monday from the Prime Minister and keep everyone up-dated then.


Take care and God Bless
Davida Suasua 



Kia Orana all,

If you have Wi-fi at home and need a Chromebook for study purposes (i.e. you have no device) we will have a limited number of devices available from 12.30pm today.

If you have a faulty school device, bring it up to swap as well. Just a reminder that because of NCEA requirements seniors have first priority here.

For collection, please queue outside the front carpark between 12.30pm – 2.00pm today. Stay inside your vehicle and wait for instructions to approach main gate.

If you are unable to collect and require delivery, please email your deans with your request and your current home address. We will do our best to assist.

Kind regards
Davida Suasua

Lockdown Learning at Tangaroa College

Kia ora koutou

Being in Alert Level 4 is not new for any of us, this means that our school will not be open until the government announces we are able to do so.

With such short notice we weren’t able to hand out devices or hard packs to students in order to support distance learning. However, our distance on-line learning plan will therefore kick into action tomorrow 19th August 2021. This means that all students have access to their Google classroom, Education Perfect and will be able to contact  teachers online during their timetabled classes. Please note that we have given devices out this year to students who have requested them.

If your child does not have a device or you have any questions please email their deans

Year 10:

Finally, we are acutely aware that lockdowns can be a stressful time for some families and our focus as always will be to support the learning, safety and wellbeing of our rangatahi and tamariki and we continue to be here to support you as well.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s dean or me, if there is something you need assistance with.

I will continue to update you all as further information comes to hand.

Ngā mihi

Davida Suasua









Moving into Level 4.

Dear Parents and families,

You will most likely be aware of the recent government announcement that New Zealand will move from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 4, starting at 11.59pm tonight, for a minimum of three days, likely to be for seven days for Auckland and Coromandel.

We’ve been at Level 4 before and here are some key points for our Tangaroa College community.

To enable members of our community to prepare for the transition from school to online, we will commence online learning from Thursday 19th August, students will be able to access their google classrooms. Please note for Wednesday your child will have time to organise their learning but most importantly look after their well being.

All students have access to their Google classroom and Education Perfect and teachers and deans will make contact with your child via email.

Finally, we are acutely aware that lockdowns can be a stressful time for some families. We will be sending out a Pastoral Care update tomorrow to emphasise key support links for your child and practical advice for families during Alert Level 4.

I will continue to update you all as further information comes to hand.

Please be safe and take care. If there are any families that need extra support and help during this time please email me.

Davida Suasua


Tangaroa Career Option Evening 2021

This will be an opportunity to talk to the Heads of Departments of all subjects, the Careers Department HOD – Alice Va’a & Careers Advisor: Amy Flower. In addition, the Transitioning team: HOD/ Year 13 Dean Renee Tawhi, Terry Nelson: Pathways Development Advisor & Daz SuaSua. The online course enrolment period will be open from the 3rd of August to the 8th of September (the first five weeks of Term 3). We would encourage students and parents to begin research and planning to help identify the subjects they wish to enroll in for 2022.

Book Character Book Day Build Up

Teachers have been dressing up as characters to support our Book Day Event on the 31st of March. Last week they dressed as characters from Mario Puzo’s novel ‘The Godfather’ of which Yr 13 English students study the film version. On the 31st of March – our students will hear from people who are writers, poets, cartoonists/ illustrators.  The day will end with each WA class dressing up one of their classmates as a book character for our grand parade!  Reading is so vital for your child’s success in the world of education and Book Event is one of many activities we have planned for the year to inspire our students and whanau to read!



Auckland Schools’ Debating is an organization run by the Auckland University Debating Association.  The competition involves 54 schools and a total of 1500 students debating a wide range of topics from banning cellphones in schools to making New Zealand another state of Australia. Tangaroa has been in this competition since 2007 and we have been hosting the Southern Junior Open Zone since 2008.  We have also entered teams into the Southern Senior Open Zone and the Advanced Open (all zones) for the past 14 years.